LIMA – The European Union supports a kind of economic development in Peru that reduces social inequality and shares the values of reconciliation, peace and democracy with the Andean nation, European Parliament member Jose Ignacio Salafranca said on Thursday.
Salafranca – who is a Euro-America Foundation trustee – gave the opening speech at the 3rd Peru-European Union Forum in Lima, an event organized by the foundation.
The Spaniard said that the EU is the world’s foremost recipient of foreign direct investment and the largest aid donor, in addition to being a “more democratic, less unfair, more humanitarian and diverse” place.
Regarding trade agreements, Salafranca highlighted the importance of expediting EU negotiations with Mercosur, stating that this is “five times more important than Japan,” with whom a similar agreement is currently being negotiated.
Peruvian Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio said that the EU nations are his country’s main trade partners and aid donors and also share political ideas, such as the defense of democracy and the protection of human rights.
He also said that Peru has joined the ranks of middle-income countries over the past 10 years, despite the fact that the country is currently going through an “(economic) stagnation that is not merely related to economic cycles” adding that the nation needs to undergo “profound changes” and “redefine its economic structure.”
“Our economy needs to reduce social exclusion to achieve sustained growth,” he said.